Parents will continue fight to save St Joseph’s Primary

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Parents were furious after councillors voted to close Milngavie’s only Catholic primary school at last night’s council meeting.

Campaigners have vowed that they will not give up their fight to save St Joseph’s Primary School from being merged in a new building at the current St Andrew’s Primary School site in Bearsden.

The new denominational school building will cost the council £8million and St Joseph’s Primary School would be demolished.

Laureen McIntyre, Chair of St Joseph’s Parent Council, said: “We are really disappointed with this decision as we’d hoped that councillors would listen to all the arguments and realise that closing St Joseph’s doesn’t stand up financially and doesn’t have any educational benefits.

“They had a chance to do the right thing for the community and keep our school in Milngavie.

“Parents are frustrated, disappointed, angry but not surprised.

“The community of Milngavie has been completely ignored throughout this entire process.

“Our message to councillors is that we are not going away and our fight will go on.”

Alastair McIntyre, who has two children at the school, said: “The councillors are being pigheaded over this, I think it’s a vanity project just like the new council headquarters.

“Closing St Joseph’s is not going to give the kids any educational benefit or save money.”

Helen Williams, Vice-Chair of St Joseph’s Parent Council, said: “This isn’t an argument about religion it is about councillors ignoring democracy.

“They are imposing their will on us and they don’t even have the confidence in what they’ve decided as they believe this decision will be called in by the Scottish Government.”

Another parent, Brian Glen, said: “They haven’t taken all the relevant issues into consideration such as increased traffic, pollution and the lack of a safe cycle route to the new school, the loss of the nursery and after school care and the effect that losing St Joseph’s will have on the whole community.

“This consultation has been going on for 18 months and they still don’t have answers for these things.

“That says all you need to know about this council.”

Georgina Docherty (77) has great nieces and nephews at the school, they are the fourth generation of her family to attend St Joseph’s Primary School.

She said: “I’m totally against this, I can’t see why a little four year old needs to be put on a bus and taken to Bearsden.

“There’s just no logic to this decision and it’s causing divisions in Milngavie as there are three other primary schools - why is St Joseph’s being targeted?

“The original St Joseph’s was built by parishioners, including my grandparents, and it’s remit has always been to provide a school for local Catholic children.”